September 13, 2011

NEWCOMER LEADS RAMS TO FOURTH AT MARSHALL INVITATIONAL

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Junior Marc Dobias (Lausanne, Switzerland) fired a 69 in the final round to place fourth at the 42nd Marshall Invitational Tuesday at the Guyan Golf and Country Club.

VCU, which held a two-stroke lead after 36 holes, shot a 7-over 291 on Tuesday and placed fourth at 6-under par (277-278-291=841). Ohio State (-18) shot a tournament-low 274 Tuesday to capture the team title. Eastern Kentucky (-13) was second, followed by Northwestern (-11). Richmond (even) finished seventh and Colonial Athletic Association rival William & Mary (+12) placed ninth.
 
As a team, VCU recorded the second-most birdies (49) and ranked third in par 3 scoring (+5).
 
Although his team couldn't hold on for the victory Tuesday, VCU Head Coach Matt Ball was pleased with the Rams' overall performance.
 
"Basically, we have four of the same five guys that played last year and we never got into contention [last season]," Ball said. "To play 36 holes and be leading Ohio State, who was ranked 12th in the preseason, Northwestern, Eastern Kentucky, Richmond and teams like that, we showed for a couple days that we could play there. Playing in the lead was foreign to this group, and it was a great learning experience for these guys."
 
Dobias (68-69-69=206) (pictured, left) was one of three players to finish the 54-hole tournament at 7-under. He was two strokes off the pace of individual medalist Alex Redfield of Ohio State (-9), as well as one stroke back of Eric Chun of Northwestern and Brian Fister of Eastern Kentucky (-8).
 
A transfer from Midland Community College, Dobias was steady throughout the tournament. He was the only player in the field to post three straight sub-70 rounds and carded the seventh-most birdies in the tournament with 13. Dobias also averaged 3.88 strokes and finished 4-under on par 4s, the fourth-best in the field.
 
It may have been his first tournament for the Rams, but Dobias didn't seem intimidated, according to Ball.

"The kid's a real player," Ball said. "He believes that he can win any time he steps on course. Judging by the way he played, that's true."
 
Senior Matt Smith (Lancaster, Pa.) completed his best showing as a Ram with a final-round 73 to place 12th overall (68-69-73=210). Meanwhile, senior Chase Sargent (Orlando, Fla.), who shot a blistering 66 in Monday's second round, cooled off a bit on Tuesday, but still placed 18th (71-66-74=211).
 
VCU returns to action Sept. 26-27 when it hosts the annual VCU Shootout at Hermitage Country Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va.
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